I hope you all are doing great. I had been so caught up with all the university work that I barely had time to post. I didn’t post much last month, so, apologies!
The last two days have been the best two days of my life. Why? Because I went to a study trip with all my friends and teachers to Hala and Bhit Shah (Interior Sindh) to experience their mode of living and the way they work and what is “Art” to them. Being an art’s student it always fascinates me how every county, even every city has its own way to present the art and creativity in them. Believe it when I say, both the places were truly artistic. With cultural murals painted on the walls and hand painted tiles in the Mazar. Hand made cutlery, hand printed Ajrak and their cultural music caught my interest the most.
We left the university in the morning and reached our first destination which was a ceramics/ pottery house in Hala. We stopped there to witness some great pieces of hand made pots, tiles and whatever can be made using mud. Name it, it was there. We learned a lot about the traditional way of painting and how they are still keeping it alive. I tried to make a pot too, but unfortunately it broke on the way back home. It was mine and my friend’s. Cries. The people over there were so nice and hospitable they offered us delicious food and tea. Their expressions were telling how happy and excited they are to have us over there and the feeling was mutual.
After that we left for the guest house because everyone was tired. The guest house so much better than what I expected. It was perfect, full of greenery and everything was neat and clean. I shared the room with the best girls. We got fresh and then guess what? Everyone gathered in one single room to watch India VS Pakistan cricket match together. After that, all I could hear was guys roaring and girls squealing on every Choka and chakka ( Sixes and fours) haha. After the match we left to visit the shrine of Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai. I can never forget this experience. The way people were singing “Wai” over there was mesmerizing. There was a whole new world inside the shrine. Our group left earlier than everyone else because to be honest, we didn’t have the strength to walk more. Late at night everyone gathered for dinner and chit-chat. Our teacher called traditional singers and they sang all night. We were sitting under the night sky with the moon shining bright and listening to folk music, nope it couldn’t be any better. It was perfect!
We slept for 2 hours in the morning and then left for breakfast. The coach stopped at a dhaba and it was also new to me. I had never eaten at any dhaba. The breakfast was delicious and I had the best tea of my life at that small dhaba. I don’t know how they made it so perfect. If I could, I would travel to Hala every morning just for that tea.
We came back to the guest house, packed our bags, loaded our stuff in the coach and left for a Jandi workshop where they make wooden chairs and bed frames in a traditional way with oil glazing an everything fascinating and later to Ajrak workshop. These were small shops where they made Ajrak from scratch by hands and sell it over there. They told us that they have annual exhibitions in Karachi too where people are willing to pay thousands for their hand printed authentic Ajraks.
After that we left for Karachi but being the crazy lot we are, We stopped at Kotri Barrage to have a little picnic. We left for Karachi with some people half soaked in water and some so tired that they could sleep while standing, but everything went away with the loudest music in history ;). The journey from Hala to Karachi is something I will never forget. Yes, the enjoyment level was 1000+. What I have learned is, our country Pakistan is beyond beautiful. Our creativity and the hard work we put into our crafts in phenomenal. We have a rich culture that is even more interesting if we have the desire to explore it. I am in love with it.
Coming towards the haul, I bought a few things, call these souvenirs. A girl has to shop, no matter where she is, right?
I bought this vase from the Gul Kashi ceramic house for 225 PKR. A cute little ring from the bazaar outside the shrine for 20 PKR and this hand printed Ajrak for 500 PKR. They had silk Ajraks too they were oh so beautiful (and pricey ehm) I don’t have words to explain.
If you have read it till here, I love you all, I know this was a long post I really missed writing. I will be updating this blog more frequently now Insha Allah.
Much Love ❤